Sunday, 27 November 2011

Hot Choc treats...

Don't those little faces say it all, mmmm hot Choc milk after a good stroll in the woods x

That time of year again...

Stir up Sunday has been and gone but sticking with my own little tradition; I soaked all my Christmas Cake fruit in a bottle of Brandy, some fresh Orange Juice and a little Cranberry Juice for 3 weeks starting at the beginning of October. 3 Weeks later, my sister called around and we got the biggest bucket we could buy (cleaned it up of course) and mixed together enough for all this years cakes. Over the past week I covered them in marzipan, left to dry for a couple of days then added the fondant and very minimal decoration this year!

7 of the finished cakes:

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Low Cal Choc Cupcake...

I'm trying my hardest to stick to an approx 1200 calorie a day allowance - it isn't a diet, no food is off limit unless the single item happens to be over 1200 calories! OMG what would that taste like?!?

Anyway - I'm trying to vary the foods and enjoy a little of what I like (love in the case of choc) by having low cal hot choc - Options Chocolate Brownie and reducing my portion sizes back to where they should be. On weighing a bowl of boring cornflakes this morning I realised I was probably putting almost 2.5 times the recommended amount in the bowl - oops.

I'm not saying it's easy but I'm helping myself along by enjoying the challenge of finding tasty foods and actually it's been harder to find easy recipes for the low calorie thing as they all need 10x more spices/herbs than are on my spice rack and way too many different and obscure ingredients.

Anyway I'd like to share with you my version of a low cal cupcake that with a nice brew on the side (no milk) is a really tasty treat and provided you don't eat the whole batch shouldn't hit the allowance too hard...

Ingredients: (makes 12, feel free to double... treble... as the occasion demands - just beware the increase in size of the eggs when whisked x)

3 eggs
85g Sugar
70g Self Raising Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa (unsweetened)

Method: (don't try to do by hand unless you're looking to eat the whole batch and need to pre-burn the calories off)

  • Preheat oven to 180`c or 10/20 degrees less of you have a fan oven
  • Crack the eggs into a clean bowl and add the sugar, whisk until the mixture leaves a line behind (to me it looks like runny marshmallow), it takes me just over 5 mins to do in my kenwood mixer, probably a bit longer with a handheld mixer and lord only knows if you did it by hand
  • Add the cocoa to your flour, it is very important to sift them over the surface of your egg mixture, aim is to keep as much air in as possible
  • Fold the flour into the eggs v e r y slowly, this will take more time than everything you've just done
  • Divide the mix into 12 cases
  • Pop them in the oven for 13 minutes
  • When you take them out they should feel springy to the touch
Voila, tasty cupcakes and just under 70 calories each - gotta love the lack of fat! This recipe would also be just enough to make 2 sandwich sponges if you used say 6" tins - anything much bigger and they'd just be biscuits!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Muchos mushrooms...

Omg, how many mushrooms in one place, spotted on our walk this afternoon. We were on a dandelion hunt, this wasn't the only crop either- loads all in one area!

And then there were 7...

I think we're doomed to be the owners of many rabbits! Do you remember me saying that although we split up mum and dad bunnies on the day we had 2 new kits and that it could already be too late. Well as of 11/11/11 another 3 tiny but very cute mewling kits entered the world, mum is a dirty brown colour and dad is black with white collar, no brown babies as yet must be a recessive gene:

4 days old (can you spot them all - trying not to disturb the amazing nest Bang has made for them, all from her own belly fur - ouch)

A month old, will be fully weaned by December 10th - dwarf lop cross:
It should be the end of it as dad had the snip within days of fatherhood and mum was due to be able to go and see the vet in a few weeks when our toddlers would have been weaned. We're also all set up to split the toddlers up as of December 10th when they are classed as weaned.

We're not looking to keep them all but are fully prepared to accept the responsibility we originally took on - I class this as pretty bad luck, ah well. Anyway, watch this space for more fun when we try to determine whether we've got girls or boys in a few more weeks!

Anyone looking for a pet bunny is free to add a comment and I'll be in touch - they won't be free as I would like to dissuade those who may be tempted to put them in a python cage as live bait - also I feel a cost adds more weight to the decision of taking on a pet.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Its back...

My knitting mojo has returned - this is Annis blocking nicely overnight on my new tablecloth, a shawl pattern from SusannahIC on I made some silly mistakes and across the 363 stitches I inevitably lost or gained one every single row! I also misread the chart and where I should have K2Tog, I SSK or vice versa - it turned out to be quite important for the overall look. Despite all this I L O V E it and may be hooked on lace.

I've already cast on my next project and expect to tell you about that very soon, oh and I know what the next two will be also. Thank goodness for cooler weather and wet evenings curled up on the sofa with my knitting!